North Queensland Cowboys player Johnathan Thurston at the NRL season launch. Picture: AAP
North Queensland Cowboys player Johnathan Thurston at the NRL season launch. Picture: AAP

J.T. to open up on setbacks and scandals

BEFORE Johnathan Thurston became "JT", he was just a boy, with a ball and a bloody big dream.

Australia's most celebrated sporting star and Queensland's favourite son will cap off his final NRL season this year with the release of his autobiography in October.

The as-yet-untitled account delves into the journey of how a young Brisbane kid was written off as being too skinny, too slow and too wild to play professional footy - not to mention the time he almost walked away from rugby league - only to become one of the greatest rugby league players of all time.

Despite his Origin success, Australian victories, fairytale 2015 grand-final triumph, Dally M and Clive Churchill medals, and an iconic laugh, Thurston admitted he is still blown away that people really wanted to read his story.

Johnathan Thurston of the North Queensland Cowboys looks on during the 2018 NRL season launch. Picture: Getty
Johnathan Thurston of the North Queensland Cowboys looks on during the 2018 NRL season launch. Picture: Getty

"My story started in the backyard of a housing commission house in Sunnybank Hills," he said.

"All these years later and despite my achievements, I am still blown away and completely humbled that people want to read my story. I'm honoured to have partnered with HarperCollins on this project and really hope everyone enjoys reading about my journey."

The book was written with long-time friend and NewsCorp journalist James Phelps, who said even he was surprised at the revelations in the autobiography.

Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys in action. Picture: Getty
Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys in action. Picture: Getty

"I thought I knew everything about this Australian sporting legend," he said.

"I didn't. No one does. But soon they will.

"J.T. gave me access to all his personal files for the project and all the knock-backs, contracts, and deals will be laid bare for the first time. He opens up on the setbacks and scandals. On the agony and pain. On love and hate - and on the time he almost walked away from rugby league. But this story doesn't begin with medals and trophies, it begins in a Brisbane backyard; with a boy, a ball, and a bloody big dream."